UK announces new temporary visa scheme after facing a labour shortage

UK government announced that the temporary visa scheme for foreign seasonal workers will be extended through the end of 2024, with the limit gradually reduced at the beginning of 2023.

In 2022, the government of the UK will offer 30,000 visas for those workers who work there as fruit pickers, vegetables and flowers. This number could rise to 40,000 in the future.

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However, forming in 2023, the number of visas “will begin to taper down,” according to the government, which also demands “a strategy from the sector to reduce reliance on foreign labour.”

UK government also remarked that the sectors must have to improve their wages and conditions, and it was altering the scheme’s rules to require firms to pay a “minimum salary.”

Hit the suitable balance between the growths to employing and prioritising domestic workers,” said Minister for safe and legal migration, Kevin Foster.

It is visible that the UK is entirely dependent on migrant labour in almost every low-paid sector, including the agriculture sector.

Recently the UK also faced a shortage of Lorry drivers due to a mix of COVID-19, Brexit, and other circumstances. The UK’s lorry driver shortage has impacted petrol stations, supermarkets and left containers piled up at Felixstowe Port, unable to be moved.

According to Britain’s transport secretary, it is a “fabricated” problem. He blamed a trade group ( which he did not name) for leaking information regarding a driver shortage at fuel companies, which revealed during a private meeting with BP (British Petroleum) warned the government. It only had two-thirds of the typical forecourt stock levels required for smooth operation.

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In September 2021, the government also announced that they are offering 10,500 visas in a month as they are facing a shortage of lorry drivers and poultry workers to ease a vast shortfall hitting fuel supplies.